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Old 02-03-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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"I'm Hungry" -- HELP

I'm pulling my hair out.

My two-year-old's "new" (in quotations because it's been going on for two months ) thing is constantly begging for food and saying ALL DAY LONG "I'm hungry...I'm hungry. Snack? Lunch? Apple? Banana? Cracker..." etc.

He's always been a good eater and eaten very healthy meals on a pretty set schedule. Suddenly, he picks at his meals and wants to snack CONTINUOUSLY. It's a source of argument between my husband and I since I don't think we should give him food everytime he asks and my husband thinks we're starving him if we don't.

My husband is very overweight along with the entire rest of his side of the family, and that's definitely a concern of mine. DH has had poor eating habits since he first started eating solids (thanks, MIL) and I don't want that to happen to my son.

At what age do you stop feeding on demand and start feeding on a set schedule? We have three meals a day, and a snack after breakfast and after lunch. But right now, I feel totally out of control of this situation since I give in so often when he BEGS AND BEGS AND BEGS for food for fifteen minutes, half an hour, etc. I still give healthy snacks, but healthy or not I can't imagine we're establishing good habits by allowing him to eat all day long and skip out on his meals.

HELP ME...

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Old 02-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

I think it's perfectly normal for a 2-year old to want to graze all day. They are busy, and don't want to take the time to sit down for a meal. If you're concerned that he's asking for food when he's not really hungry, try offering him something small and healthy that he doesn't particularly love. If he's willing to eat it, he is hungry. If not, he wasn't. I know it's hard not to worry about his eating habits (DH and relatives all have weight issues here too) but denying him food when he asks for it could get you in the exact predicament you're trying to avoid.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

*sigh* If I wasn't such a control freak I'd be able to relax a little more and go with the flow He has his 2-year checkup on Friday so I might ask the doctor what he suggests as well.

So have any other mamas experienced this with kids this age? I never thought that maybe it was a normal phase, I just assumed it was him
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

Mine grazes at home too, and i'm totally cool with it. Partly it's because he has reflux & smaller portions are better for him, but also because it's the only way I can get all the food groups in him. If I sit him down for a meal with 4 things on his plate he will usually only eat one, so I eliminate the middle man & only feed him one thing now .
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

Yup, they do like to graze. But it sounds as if you're giving him healthy snacks so don't worry too much - at times it is hard to get them to concentrate and sit down to eat. I still have problems with my almost 4 yr old. I will now limit my 5yr old's snacking - he's old enough to understand that he needs to eat at mealtimes. If he doesn't, he can't have a snack (mine aren't as healthy as yours!) until he eats something like a yoghurt/fruit first.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:52 PM   #6
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

I have never allowed my children to graze. We have our meals and our snacks. Not on a strict schedule, but it seems to me that it is healthier to have a regular routine instead of waiting for the body to truly be hungry. I have read a lot of how that is where many eating problems come from -- waiting until the body is hungry and then eating too much.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: "I'm Hungry" -- HELP

If you're concerned about "grazing", you could set up maybe 4-6 small meal times for him during the day so that he's getting food more frequently but you are planning the times.

It's actually more healthy to have more frequent smaller meals than 3 big ones. I'm horrible about getting things done on a time schedule, but I set up my plans like "after story time we'll do snack time. Then bath time, then playtime, etc."
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